Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dating. Of God? Or the world?

Dearest brother Cameron. I thought it would be good to write my thoughts out that I have been pondering over for the past couple days and I would like for you to comment on them and see if you believe I am in the Spirit when I say them or talking out of my own mind.

I know it has been quite some time since my last post was directed towards you. I am sorry about this and I hope to be more faithful in my writing you in the future.

Ok bro, I have been thinkin alot lately about the idea of dating/courting/marraige and the correlations or relationship it has to the Holy and infallable inspired word of God.

In my personal life I have recently had the priviledge of getting to know a Godly young lady. And I frequently ask myself could this be the one? How will I know if it is? And what does God think about me "dating" this girl.

Dude, let me ask you a serious question.....where in the Bible do you ever read about dating or courting? I have personally read the entire Bible and I have seen either of those words in it. Now, with that said some questions might rise to the surface. One being, are you saying dating is wrong? And my answer would be, yes I think that dating is a worldy idea and institution. One example I think of is the story in Genisis 24 when Abraham sends his servant to "take" a wife for his son Isaac from the land of his relatives. One thing you do see is that Isaac was not out lookin for girls to date and being impatient with God. You read in Gen 24:62 then when Rebekah was riding up the place that Isaac had just returned from Beer-lahai-roi and was in the field meditating when Rebekah rode up. He wasnt worried about no girl. He was focused on what really mattered and that is his relationship to his Father in heaven. No where throughtout scripture do we see "and so and so went out on a journey to search for a wife". Abraham sent his oldest and wisest servant out to look for his sons mate.(Gen 24:2) I dont think that was by accident either. He knew what to look for. We need to be seeking God and let God provide our wife. I've been reading in 1 Corinthian today and in chapter 7 the apostle Paul speaks to marraige and the sexual side of us. 1 Cor. 7:17 says Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has asigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.
So, to me, Paul is telling us to worry about our own self and not worry about finding a girl. Live life according to what God is leading you to do day in and day out.
Paul also states in 1 Cor. 7:27-28 "Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldy troubles, and I would spare you that." He says in v. 32-33 of that chapter "The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things. how to please his wife." So, Paul flat out says "Do not seek a wife" but, and this is the key word, IF you marry you have not sinned. That word "if" eludes to the fact that it shouldnt be something that matters the world to you. And it doesnt say you "have" to get married. I believe we have been called to be married. Because I simply dont have the self control to not be married. But the thing that I have learned from these two passages is that we cant let ourselves get caught up in the idea of finding our future wife/soul mate or whatever. We have to find all of our hope in the savior of the universe. God will you what you need when you need it.

I would like to say, I love you and I am constantly asking God to bless you and give you wisdom to teach them lil rascals down there. I am praying for your witness on your new campus and I am praying that your faith would be strong. And I am also praying that we will get to meet up soon and talk about the things of the Lord. Im praying about going to Ecuador again soon so I would appreciate you praying along with me in that. Also please pray that my faith would not waver, but that it might grow strong and take up root in the truth of the word. I pray that we would grow together in the love of the Lord. I will sign off with the words of our spiritual grandfather Paul "I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus.

In the sincere Love of Christ,
Your brother Samuel

Saturday, June 26, 2010

We are never forsaken.

God is never changing.
Can we never forget this? Can we PRAY that this rings true throughout our lives.
Cameron, God never changed on me. God is steadfast.
Just because I dont feel God being close to me doesnt mean I am any less his child.
God is there. He is here. Forever and always.
God is growing my faith. He is all that I care to desire. Is He all that I desire? sadly no.
But I want Him to be all that I want.
God is our father. We should admire Him like such.
Our father, The King of ALL Kings, Lord of ALL Lord. I AM that I AM. He Is.
We can only understand our father in human terms.

We cannot let emotion dictate the status of our relationship with God. "feeling" close to Him or not "feeling" close to Him does not determine how God looks at us. He is constant and His steadfast love is ever present. He does not forsake. God is with us.



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cursing, right or wrong?

Samuel, in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior sent by our heavenly Father and called by the Holy Spirit to exhort the church as a whole and more specifically my brother Cameron Moore, grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Man, i've been pondering ever since you told me about your encounter you had today with the man who contended that it wasnt a sin to cuss. It has really bothered me that this world has really just taken our Bible and made it into what they want it to be. And I'm not saying this what this guy has done but I believe either 1). he is disillusioned or 2). uneducated and unfortuantely ignorant. I don't mean to sound uppity but I really find it a shame that some people claim to know what it right or wrong and really haven't got a clue.

So, therefore it is my wish to dispell some of the possible doubts this heretic(the Bible calls him a heretic) has planted in your head and also vicarously in mine. I pray that the Holy Spirit would endorse this exposition and speak through me and that I would not be ranting off of a soapbox, but would be using solid exegesis to as Paul exhorts "rightly divide the word of truth". I will be using scripture from the English Standard Version and I know this both of our favorite interpretation. I will be using it because it is according to scholars and men I trust to be the closest to the actual Greek manuscripts.

I will begin by stating my desire to do this composition. The apostle Peter wrote in his first letter under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit to the church in chapter 3 verse 15
"but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to made a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect". The Bible also says in the first letter to the Thessalonians to "examine everything carefully, and holdfast to that which is good"(1 Thes 5:21) So it is my wish to make a defense for this hope that is within us and examine carefully what the Bible says about profane speech.

In this is issue of cussing or cursing the Bible is explicitly clear that we are not to do it. Plain and simple. It is not a matter that is open to interpretation it is not a matter of liberty within the Christian walk. It is a matter of right and wrong.

The apostle Paul makes it very clear that our speech is a big issue with God and that it is to honor God and without fault "and sound speech that cannot be condemned so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us" Titus 2:8. Proverbs also talks about the six things which the Lord hates and 3 of them involve the tongue (Prov 6:16-19).

So with that foundation I believe it is clear that God would like for us to honor Him in all of our speech. That alone should be enough for us to do so and refrain from cussing. But the Bible actually speaks directly to the issue of what the Bible calls "profrane speech".

Ephesians 4:29-
Let no currupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear

The greek for corrupt here is sapros meaning "rotten, that is, worthless, bad, unfit for use".
This phrase "unfit for use" is so telling and right for this text.

Colosians 3:8-
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth

The greek for obscene here is aischrologia meaning "vile, foul speaking, low and obscene speech".......self explanitory.

These two texts have been taken in complete context rest assured. And I believe the case has been made for the argument that it is indeed wrong to cuss or curse.

Now, the issue of the fact that our contemporary cuss words were not considered profane speech until after the Bible was written. Some might say, "who says a cuss word is a cuss word?" My answer would be, culture defines cuss words. This is why the Bible says "obscene speech" it doesnt run off a list of 100 words that cannot be spoken. It generalizes all obscene speech. Therefore I must contend that all ephimisms such as: dang, crap, dog gone and the like would be considered obscene speech.

What then do we do my brother? I'll let you be convicted specifically by the Holy Spirit. But I believe I have interpreted the texts correctly. So after you read this call me and let me know what you think.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

WARNING: this is unorganized and sporatic.

Well, im sitting here in a fog.
I feel like im coming back to God, however, I'm coming back to the communion
that I left.
It pains me to think of the rejection I showed God in this.
I pretended to portray Jesus Christ as my Lord and then did something to the contrary.
I apologize for this hypocrisy.

God is our grand weaver Cameron. He wants to have a close intimate relationship with you. And myself.
The Bible says He knows every hair on our head brother he knows when a sparrow falls.
How could somebody say God doesnt care who we marry as long as she is a christian.
God wants us to ask Him about the things that matter to us.

Cameron, I thank you for being an example of a true friend. I've learned that a true friend is not something you just let walk on by. They only come around about once a lifetime. Your the friend
that sticketh closer than a brother(Prov 18:24).

If we really believe a divnely sovereign God sent His only son Jesus Christ to earth. And, that this God/man was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life and then sacrificed His life and the eternity long communion He had until that point for you and me. If we believe that our Bible is a historical document penned by men divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. And that this Bible is absolutely inerrantly true and is the way God reveals and confirms His will for our life. Jesus asked if you profess to know Me then why do you not do what I say.

If we believe these fundamental truths of our christian faith, what then shall we do? Simply abide in His love and just be in Christ? Why does it seem I take 2 steps forward and 3 back on a regular basis. Lets get serious. I need to be serious.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your work is not in vain, in the Lord. 1 Cor. 15:58

Lets not let our work be in vain. I thank God for putting you in my life.

With love, In Christ
Your brother
Samuel Bragg